New Orleans, La. – Senator Landrieu told the National Oil Spill Commission at its first meeting in New Orleans that its findings will be key to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. She made an unannounced visit to the commission, which she says will have a say in the national policy on off-shore drilling. The new rules clarify what safety steps are needed to resume drilling.
New Orleans, La. – Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says the new cap will take pressure readings. If they're too low, it means there could be other breaks in the well and plugging oil from the top could trigger more leaks. If they're high enough, valves on the cap will gradually be shut off. Allen says he's very confident the cap will stay in place. If it's not able to stop oil from flowing out it will at least be able to funnel it to surface ships.
New Orleans, La. – The commission has been given six months to determine why the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20th, killing 11 men on board, how effective the response has been to the oil spill that followed, and how such as disaster can be prevented. Democratic co-chairman Graham says he disagrees with critics who say the commission hasn't enough drilling experts.
New Orleans, La. – BP has extra skimming vessels above the well site to recover the oil now spilling freely into the Gulf. It's also hooking up a production vessel to another part of the blown-out well. Once the new containment cap is attached, pressure readings will track the rate of oil gushing out of the well. The cap might be able to close off the leak. BP vice president Kent Wells says the system should be operational by mid-week, but is only a temporary solution.
New Orleans, La. – Mayor Landrieu was sworn into office about two months ago as the oil crisis was unfolding. In his first State of the City address, he's warning that Hurricane Katrina rebuilding money is almost gone. And the economic fallout from the oil spill on city coffers is still being tabulated.
"Our mission is clear. Cap the hole. Capture the oil. Clean the coast. Compensate the families and get back to work. This is an American tragedy and it requires a robust American response."
New Orleans, La. – Davis says dispersants being used to break up the oil spill are forming tar balls that sinlk below the surface and are drifting in water currents into the lake. He says it's impossible to fight oil that can't be seen as it drifts under booms and past other barriers. But retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says Lake Pontchartrain's contamination may not be the dispersants fault.
New Orleans, La. – Oil keeps gushing around a loose-fitting cap at the seafloor. Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says seas are too rough to finish hooking up a third production vessel called the Helix. When it's expected to be on line in a few days, Allen says the surface operations could suck up most of the oil as it spills. Officials are still not sure about putting a tighter containment cap at the seabed because the blown out well would be wide open for a week while the switch is made.